Interesting fact about the F-16 Side Stick Controller - ED Forums
 


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Old 07-11-2019, 07:58 PM   #1
Deano87
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Default Interesting fact about the F-16 Side Stick Controller

Hey all.

I'm sure I'm way late to the party on this but this is something I just stumbled upon while researching how/where I should mount my FSSB stick in preparation for the F-16, I didn't know about it so I thought I'd post it here just incase its new info for anybody else.

Apparently the force axises on the F-16 stick are rotated 12 degrees to the right. So to pull full up elevator with no roll input you actually have to pull the stick slightly towards you as well, this makes sense from an ergonomic point of view.

I found a thread about it on F-16.net with the attached picture and John Will (Structural flight test engineer for General Dynamics on the YF-16 and F-16 programs from 1973 until 1985) replied and confirmed that it is indeed correct. He also went on to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnWill @ F-16.net
The original YF-16 stick, in addition to being rigid, was aligned with the airplane axis system. It was found that pilots had a tendency to input some small roll command while trying to do a pure pitch pull up. Not sure when the change was made, but production airplanes have a stick with a small amount of motion in addition to the 12 degree rotated axis.

So, yes, if you pull straight back on the stick (airplane axis) you will get a small right roll command.
Really interesting!

I should point out that the Stick top itself is still aligned with the for/aft aircraft axis but its just the force sensors in the stick base that are rotated. Because Of this fact I'm going to mount my FSSB straight and then use the supplied software to rotate the output as thats possible.

Anyway, like I said I guess lots of people already knew this but I found interesting anyhow.



Here is the link to the F-16.net thread about it.
http://www.f-16.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=24779
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:05 PM   #2
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Good to know for setting up the controls as realistic as possible. Good one.
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Old 07-11-2019, 08:59 PM   #3
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Man, this reminds me of going to Magic Edge in the '90s, they had full motion simulator cockpits based off the F-16 (including force-sensing side sticks) despite the game putting you in a Hornet.

https://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=832
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:01 PM   #4
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Good find! If I convert my setup to a side-stick one, I'll rotate it like that.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:49 PM   #5
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Here's another interesting fact. A side stick could be considered a liability in combat. When the Israelis were designing the Lavi, they decided to go with a center stick so that the pilot could still control the aircraft even with a damaged right arm... Sure, the odds are pretty low, but in certain instances a center stick could make the difference between an injured pilot getting the aircraft home or not.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:17 AM   #6
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The stick barely moves at all. It's just a big pressure switch.
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Old 07-12-2019, 01:39 AM   #7
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It might not move much but it still requires 25lb of force to demand full pitch command and 17lb in roll, so there’s still a bit of force there. Although the people that I know personally who’ve flown the F-16 mainly complain about neck problems related to the seat recline angle more than anything else, nice problem to have I suppose lol.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano87 View Post
It might not move much but it still requires 25lb of force to demand full pitch command and 17lb in roll, so there’s still a bit of force there. Although the people that I know personally who’ve flown the F-16 mainly complain about neck problems related to the seat recline angle more than anything else, nice problem to have I suppose lol.
Although the F-16 is my favourite airplane and I've got many books etc. about heir, I didn't know about sidestick axis or the neck problems.
Very interesting info, thanx
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano87 View Post
It might not move much but it still requires 25lb of force to demand full pitch command and 17lb in roll, so there’s still a bit of force there. Although the people that I know personally who’ve flown the F-16 mainly complain about neck problems related to the seat recline angle more than anything else, nice problem to have I suppose lol.
I don't think it's the seat position they're primarily talking about. At least in our case and a few of my buddies in other units, it's the HMIT system for the helmet that's causing the neck issues because the helmet isn't weighted correctly. There's a lot of squadrons that are transitioning to a new system to correct that.

Having messed with the stick during flight control ops checks and rigs more than my fair share, I can confirm on Block 30's that it takes a good amount of force on the stick to get full deflection from a control surface. Block 40's and up aren't quite the same since everything was upgraded to newer shit. Haven't personally messed with any directly, but I've got a few former Block 40 guys working with me from other units that talk about how much better/easier they are to work on vs Block 30's.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deano87 View Post
It might not move much but it still requires 25lb of force to demand full pitch command and 17lb in roll, so there’s still a bit of force there.
25lb is 11.36 kg
17lb is 7.75 kg

That is a heavy, heavy force for a wrist to do sideways.

Sure, any adult can set such weights on table and move it with a wrist and arm, but think about flying the fighter and constantly be performing for a hour or two (or what the typical flight hours are per day for active pilot) those motions between 0-11kg!

Quote:
Although the people that I know personally who’ve flown the F-16 mainly complain about neck problems related to the seat recline angle more than anything else, nice problem to have I suppose lol.
The neck problems can very well come from the constant tension that you are required to perform with a right hand heavy loads. All the nerves in your hand gets squeezed when you are fisting and squeezing hard, and they can get stuck in your neck or all the way to between your shoulder plates.
And there is big difference are you using your arm in larger motion, to that are you keeping your arm in one place and having muscle tension because unmobile arm.
As that as well causes a tension to whole neck and upper body muscles and nerves.

Even similar thing can happen for PC users who use a lot of mouse in small mouse pad and they have tension in their wrist from squeezing slightly the mouse, and that leads straight to neck problems.
Similar problems are among tree harvester operators, who operate whole day a big machine with two small joysticks on both hands:



And those joysticks are NOT at all requiring heavy forces, nothing like a 11kg. More like a gamepad dual joysticks.





Lots of the designs has moved forward there to the angled controller, where you can either grab the controller from the top or from the side, and have it tilted to inside and have controller below your wrist.

There is a big difference when you have your arm straight forward with your body like in F-16, and then have it tilted inside toward your left knee, that is more natural angle. Like the normal arm resting position is for right arm that you place your hand on your left chest, and if the arm is set straight with body (palm to the left) and arm at side, it is causing tension on the elbow, shoulder and neck. Why you don't do that even with people who has dislocated shoulder. But for extended rest times it is better have 90 degree angle below your chest, not forward like hand shaking.
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